Tag Archives: wedding

45 years ago – 4 August 1973 – Wedding of Sky Pilot to the beautiful Helen (RIP)

The Parish Church of SS Peter and Paul, Alpheton, Suffolk




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If anyone can show good reason…..

At a wedding ceremony, the minister asked if anyone had anything to say
concerning the union of the bride and groom. It was their time to
stand up and talk, or forever hold their peace.

The moment of utter silence was broken by a young beautiful woman carrying a child. She started walking toward the minister slowly.

Everything quickly turned to chaos. The bride slapped the groom. The
groom’s mother fainted. The groomsmen started giving each other looks and wondering how best to help save the situation.

The pastor asked the woman, “Can you tell us why you came forward?
What do you have to say?”
The woman replied, “We can’t hear in the back.”

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At her wedding the bride tripped and fell into the arms of the Minister.

‘That’s the first time I’ve held a fallen woman,’ he quipped.

To which she retorted: ‘It’s the first time I’ve been picked up by a Minister!’

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It’s a hit!

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Wedding ring

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Strange days

A strange one….yesterday I conducted a wedding at a local popular venue. First of all, the couple were delightful & the guests lovingly supportive toward the bride and groom…..but, here’s a thing: after the ceremony and the signing of the legal papers, having wished the couple well, on my way out I said to the company that I hoped that they would have a great celebration at the reception & a safe journey home. Added my thanks for their being there to rejoice with the bride and groom on that particularly happy day…… and got a round of applause!

But that’s not the strange bit. Before the service, I chatted to a new member of staff. Was asked if I were a minister (the dog-collar should have been a giveaway!) Answer: ‘yes – Church of Scotland’

‘Are you allowed to get married? Or have sex?’

‘Yes, but I’m a widower’

‘Are you in a relationship?’

‘No. And who would want a 69 year old wee fat man who is retired?’

‘Unless they’ve got loads of money’


‘You’re retired – does the Church still (?) give you a car?

“No, I’ve got my own”

“What kind?” ………..

…… so, after the ceremony, he follows me into the car park to look at my Jaguar – and asked if he could reverse it.

Saved by the piper – escorting the marriage party out. He had to dash back to get on with work.

Strange. Very strange


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The Wedding Photographer

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It’s just a piece of paper…..

Some years ago, a couple who were getting married on the Saturday arrived at the rehearsal on the Thursday evening.

After greeting them, and before starting the practice, I always ask for the Marriage Schedule*

*(the Schedule is issued by the local Registrar, after notice of a marriage has been publicly posted for a minimum of a month and no objections have been made.  The couple have first to lodge an application form each – known as an M10 – with their personal details etc.). Without a Schedule, the celebrant can’t legally proceed with the wedding)

So, having asked them, after a lot of rummaging about in several carrier bags, the bridegroom-to-be produced…… the completed M10 forms.  They hadn’t lodged them with the Registrar.




Super panic stations!  The groom was a soldier and was about to be posted to Northern Ireland.  He wouldn’t be given married quarters if he….um…..weren’t married.

Well, given that we had a day’s grace before the Ceremony, on the Friday, we met with the Registrar to try to salvage the situation.

Guess who got pelters and a complete dressing down?  The thicko couple? Think again……moi!

How lax of me not to put in writing what they had to do; should have checked with them weeks before that they had followed proper procedures, and so on.

A piece of officially headed notepaper was more or less thrown across the desk at me, and I was ordered to write down an account of what had happened (including a solemn declaration that I had indeed arranged to marry them – and when that agreement had been made; well, to be honest, I couldn’t remember, but took a stab at ten months previously……this got a nod of approval from “the bride”)

Old hatchet face then faxed all the paperwork to the Registrar General’s office in Edinburgh, and, lo and behold…..permission was granted.

On leaving the Registrary Office, she warmly shook the hand of the young couple, saying “I hope you have a lovely day tomorrow, despite all this nonsense you’ve been put through” (the latter part of the sentence said while glaring at me), then dismissed us with a perfunctory wave of a hand.

And they lived happily ever after…..sort of…..I heard they divorced two or three years later!




A strange one!

A long time ago, I was covering for a Minister friend while he was off sick.  One Saturday he had been scheduled to conduct a wedding in his church.  I was asked to take the Service instead.

The Registrar, whom I knew well – and who was a member of that congregation – phoned me several days before the Ceremony was due to be held, and, without explanation, said something along the lines of “This is unusual, I know, but I’m not going to hand over the Marriage Schedule to the couple; I’ll bring it myself to the church five or ten minutes before the service and give it to you personally”

This she did (her office was across the road from the kirk, and she went there – unusually – on a Saturday afternoon when it was normally closed).

She hung about outside while the wedding service was being held, then came in afterwards to collect the completed document.

The ceremony passed without incident, so I’ve no idea what was going on……

…..however, I understand the battalions of plod were deployed later to the reception – held in a posh hotel in a neighbouring town.  Luckily, I wasn’t there, because I had excused myself – having apologised for having “a subsequent engagement”



And – very recently……

They were getting married on the Saturday, and the bride-to-be phoned me on the Thursday evening to check that everything was OK.

After reminding her what was involved in the ceremony, I finished by saying that she or her husband-to-be should (as is advised by the Registrar, if their Office is closed  as it would be on the Sunday) post the completed form through the letterbox of the Registrary Office – they were leaving the district on the Sunday – and that it would be processed when they opened up again for the next working week.

Their marrriage certificate would then be mailed to them some time afterwards.  However, I pointed out that it may take longer than expected as there was a bit of a backlog.

Gobsmacked…said she, “I thought that you would give us our Certificate after the Service!”  (all this had been carefully explained months before when we first made contact).

She continued, “We’re going on honeymoon at the end of the week, and I thought that I could just show my new Marriage Certificate at the airport check-in”

Being helpful, I suggested that she use her current passport- still, of course, in her maiden name (as many newly married women do).

Silence.  Then……”it’s expired”

“Well, how about going in person to the Passport Office on Monday, and getting a fast-track one; a replacement, though still in your maiden name?  They do this, but it will cost you extra.”

Reluctantly- “I suppose so”

Interrupting – “Is your flight ticket in your maiden name?”

Boldly – (as if I were a total eejit) “Of course not; in my new married name!”

We went round in circles. Passport, Marriage Certificate, Maiden Name, Tickets, Registrar, Passport, Marriage Certificate……Registrar, Flight, Passport….

After the ceremony, I chatted briefly with her.

No big deal. She’d contacted the Registrar who promised to process the Schedule and issue the Certificate sooner than soon.

Hope EasyJet or Ryanair staff are as laid back at the check-in counter.

Happy Honeymoon!




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“Get me Jesus on the line”




Just a few years ago, a well-loved and respected retired Minister was deservedly awarded an MBE (Member of the British Empire)

At the Presbytery meeting, following his recognition by Her Majesty, I happenened to be sitting beside him.

The Moderator was addressing him, and, rightly commending him and congratulating him on receiving this prized honour.

Suddenly, in the middle of the Moderator’s encomium, a mobile phone rang shrilly.

In a stage whisper, I said: “That will be the Palace asking for it back!”

{and, yes, some DID laugh}


Not a laughing matter….. many years ago, a particular “pastor” got himself into a spot of bother over a cell phone.

He was was from an independent church somewhere near Gretna Green, Scotland’s Wedding Capital.

He spent so much time there – in the various “Blacksmiths” venues, that (a) he made enough money from fees that he was able to build a house! And (b) he occasionally lost track of where he should be and when – to conduct a marriage ceremony.

Once, when nearing the end of one of his “Over the Anvil” services, his phone rang. Rather than ignore it, he answered it (this, mind you, during a wedding service).

It was another venue, where he was due round about that time (for yet another ceremony), and they were checking to find out where he was.

Rather than answer “soto voce”, he replied in a way that everyone present could hear…”I’m at ‘Ye Olde Horse-shoeing Anvil Shoppe’ (or wherever); I’ll be with you in five minutes or so, once I’ve finished with this lot!”

Naturally, the Bride’s Mother was not best pleased. “You’re the most insincere so-called clergyman I’ve ever met!”  And she complained in no uncertain terms to the venue’s “marriage co-ordinators”

He didn’t conduct many more weddings thereafter.


I always check that my phone is switched off before taking a service of any kind.  I once had as my ring tone the theme tune from ‘The Great Escape’ – now, imagine if it had been left switched on during a funeral?!!!

Or – my current one: the ‘Mission Impossible’ tune…… at a wedding???!!!


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